Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' September 2012 Challenge - Empanada Gallega

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!
I was reluctant to participate in this months challenge. I have a couple of picky eaters when it comes to savory food and I thought I might be the only one eating this months challenge.
I kept delayed the start until close to deadline day  thinking that I would pull out of the challenge. Then came one of those lazy afternoons when I had the recipe in front of me and all the ingredients to get the dough started. So I gave it a whirl! And I am very glad I did try this recipe. The dough was very easy and I went the even easier route and made it in the mixer with the dough hook. I did not even clean the bowl, just oiled it and plopped the dough back in. While the dough was rising, I scooted to the grocery store for filling ingredients. I could not decide whether to go with chicken or pork so...I got both. Back at home, I got the filling cooking and noticed a jar of chipotles in adobe sauce in the the pantry. There was the kick I was looking for in the filling.

 I thought the shredded mozzarella with jalapeno might be overkill but it was not overwhelming and added a nice creaminess to the Empanada. I used some in the filling and a little on top. The topping really did nothing and next time (I always yearn for that next time), I will save a little dough as recommended by Petri for decoration.
I think this dish is excellent for football night. Cook it up, slice it and serve on a big platter. If our team makes it to the Super Bowl, I am going to make this for game night. It is very easy to eat. My fork and knife hubby sliced his up while I grabbed the thing like a slice of pizza and chomped away. It holds together really well.

I served this with an avocado and orange salad dressing it with just a squeeze of fresh orange juice and a drizzle of extra special all the way from Paris extra virgin olive oil. I also had a sauce of sour cream, lime juice and chili powder that I made for another dish but I found it not to be necessary or beneficial to the dish. It was fine on its own.
I dream up fillings for this dish daily. It seems so easy for sweet and savory. Thanks Petri for a great challenge!!
Here is the recipe:

Empanada Gallega adapted from a recipe by Petri from Asi Son Las Cosas


Dough Ingredients:

2 ½ plus 1 tablespoons (640 ml) (375 gm) bread flour
1cups (240 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1/2 satchel (1/2 tablespoon) (7.5 gm) dry yeast or (1/2 oz.) (15 gm) fresh yeast
1 teaspoons (5ml) (5.5 gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)
1 large egg, for egg wash

Before Rising
Dough Directions:

Measure out all the ingredients.
 Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.
In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.
Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.
On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
 You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.
 Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draft-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.



2 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
½ red pepper, chopped finely
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, chopped finely
1 chicken breast, grilled or poached in chicken stock chopped finely
1 pork chop, grilled or sautéed and finely chopped
¼ cup (56.7 grams) canned black beans, drained, rinsed and rough chopped
1 /2 cup (113.4 grams) shredded Mozzarella cheese with jalapeno pepper

Heat oil in medium sauté pan. Add onion and red pepper and cook over medium heat stirring often. Add garlic and chipotle pepper. Cook for about a minute. Add the two meats and stir to combine. Add the black beans. 2.Remove from heat and allow to cool before filling.

To Assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured rolling mat or counter top, roll half the dough to about 1/8th inch thick. Place on parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle ½ of the cheese in the center of the pastry leaving about a 2 inch wide margin around the edges. Spoon the cooled filling on top of the cheese.

Roll 3/4‘s of the rest of the dough (it should be slightly smaller the first piece. Lay on top of the dough and then roll up the bottom piece of dough over the top piece pinching as you move around the perimeter to seal the dough. Prick a hole in the top center or use a fork to prick several holes on top for steam to escape.Mix together 1 egg with 1tablespoon (15ml) water and to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash.

Using the rest of the dough, make an attractive decoration such as leaves to decorate the top. (I did not do this step but I think you should!)

Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until bottom crusts looks lightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven, cut into slices with a sharp knife. Serve warm.


Yield 4 to 6 servings.